2005-05-20 / News

Maeve’s Arts Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Yiping Qian

Maeve Croghan, owner of the newly relocated Maeve’s Arts, stands beside one of her own oil paintings of Grand Marais, “Old Blossoming Orchard.”
Maeve Croghan, owner of the newly relocated Maeve’s Arts, stands beside one of her own oil paintings of Grand Marais, “Old Blossoming Orchard.”

This season is special for Maeve Croghan because her arts and crafts store, Maeve’s Arts, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the Island and will be at a new location in the Carrousel Shops on Market Street. She hopes this new location will allow her to better showcase her paintings and the specialty items her store offers.

Ms. Croghan was born in Virginia but has spent almost every summer either working on the Island or enjoying its picturesque environment that she so loves. She remembers spending those lazy summer days riding horses and bicycles, meandering through the trails and in the woods. It was here, she said, where she grew to love nature, which would later dominate much of her artwork.

“Nature,” she said, “was the focus of my life growing up here.”

After she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New College of California, she continued spending winters in California’s San Francisco Bay area, painting with oils and honing her skill, which eventually led to a successful art career. She has been included in the new book, “Art of Northern California,” and has four museum showings to her credit. In addition, a Californian vineyard has featured her paintings on three of its wine labels.

But the call of the Island was irresistible to this artist. Ms. Croghan always found herself traveling back to the Island and spending summers running her arts and crafts store.

After two moves, from the Horse Coral Mall to Main Street and eventually to the Carrousel Shops, she hopes her store has finally found its niche. Maeve’s Arts, previously called Maeve’s Arts and Antiques, has evolved from an all-encompassing arts and crafts store that presents specialty items such as wood carvings from Asia and South America, to a store that focuses on American craft and fine art and jewelry. She feels that now, her store can offer “unique artwork that is rare and of high quality.”

Currently, with a decidedly smaller space, Ms. Croghan consciously fills every corner, every wall of her store with the type of art work that can be found in fine galleries and museums. She features American artists who have become quite famous and won numerous accolades.

For example, sweaters at the store were designed by two sisters from California and hand-knitted by a women’s cooperative in Nepal . Prominently displayed is Camp Climax Pottery shipped from Santa Cruz, California, which incorporate hand-sculpted animal heads and bodies onto the pottery to create casserole dishes, mugs, and vases.

Also featured in the store are local artists’ work such as the Porter-Heerspink Pottery created by two artists, Julie Porter and Brent Heerspink, who live in nearby Cedarville. It is wood-fired pottery with a unique blend of trillium and blueberry decorations. Other local Island artists, including Pam Finkel and John Slevin, will also feature their paintings at Ms. Croghan’s store.

Maeve’s Arts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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